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Sneezin' Away

What is an allergic reaction? 

Essentially, this is when the body reacts defensively to a perceived threat and fights the allergens in the same way it does a viral infection.

Eating foods "out of season and region" may also contribute to allergic reactions. 

You may ask, "What's wrong with eating an apple in June?"


Unless, of course, you have a food allergy....

Most produce is transported worldwide by trucks & trains for hundreds (or in some cases thousands of miles if by boat) in partially opened containers.

photo credit: DSC_0004 via photopin (license)

Based on the time of year, the container may come in contact with in-season allergens like mold, poison ivy, poison oak, various types of pollen. 

These allergens are constantly in the environment, but may be more prevalent in some regions during certain times of the year.

This can be partially remedied by washing the produce thoroughly before consumption. However, in cases of extreme allergic reactions, it would be advisable to try to shop locally and use protective gloves when washing.

Apart from North America, allergies also affect a large number of the rest of the world's population - nearly 40%. In fact at one time or another, suffer the annoying and sometimes debilitating results of this ailment. Allergic symptoms range from the mild to life-threatening.

Allergy causes are numerous and varied. Among the more common are mold, dust mites and in the springtime, pollen.

I found some interesting statistics from The American Academy Of Allergy Asthma & Immunology on their website. I invite you to read them over.

Genetic predisposition may also play a role in certain allergic conditions. A low immune system is another major cause of allergies. Boosting the immune system, with green tea, might help, but balancing the immune system is far more preferable, as boosting the immune system can cause complications in other areas. Food allergies are not as common as most people think, but can be severe causing hundreds of deaths annually. Vitamins and minerals like A, C, E, selenium magnesium and zinc can certainly help to strengthen immune system.
Acupuncture has also been found to be a highly effective treatment for some allergies as well. Eating foods "in season" can help. People used to eat seasonal fruit and vegetables, but with refrigeration and shipping, from around the world, our bodies receiving no respite from this problem. This has necessarily been a very short article on allergies. Seek further information from people practising alternative health and medicine, such as acupuncturists, herbalists, holistic practitioners and aromatherapists. You'll find that there is much free and interesting information in your local library, or on the internet.
One more thing to help you along.....

Here's a short list of in-season months for various fruits & veggies:

January - brussels sprouts & apples February - cauliflower & pears March - rhubarb & spring onions April - radishes & watercress May - asparagus & spinach June - artichoke & carrots July - cucumber, onions, peaches August - peas, raspberries, plums, tomatoes September - butternut squash, blackberries & corn October - celery, kale, chestnuts November - pumpkin & walnuts December - turnips & apples

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